AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Traffic congestion should soon be easing on a major Aiken County highway.

“The traffic during the morning, lunchtime and evening is really congested,” Deborah Creech told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.

“Whiskey Road is Aiken’s version of Washington Road, if you will, ” Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said, laughing.

The Powderhouse Connector on Whiskey Road could alleviate some of the problems. Engineers say it could cut traffic flow by up to 24 percent.

“Which is a big deal to anybody who travels that on a daily basis or weekly basis in Aiken,” Sen. Tom Young said.

The project will start at Whiskey Road and Oak Grove. It will go to Powderhouse and Old Powderhouse Road, ending at East Pine Log and Powderhouse Roads.

“Other issues have arisen over the years, but over time, council made this a priority,” Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said.

The Powderhouse Connector started as an idea in 2006 after a traffic study. The effort will be completed in two phases. The first phase will connect South Centennial Avenue, off of Corporate Parkway, to Whiskey Road at East Gate Drive. The second phase will connect Powderhouse Road with Whiskey Road at East Gate Drive.

The project has a price tag of $37 million. That has now been secured.

“This is a combination of city, county, state, and federal funds for this project,” Sen. Tom Young said. “The most significant portion of the funding is coming from the state infrastructure bank, over $21 million, it’s taken us a few years to get to this point,” he added.

Now that the funding is secured, an engineer and a contractor will be hired.

The construction is expected to start mid-year 2023. It should take five years to complete.

“There may be some impact on Powderhouse as they get closer to the construction on that end. But this overall should not have any significant impact on the traffic of either road,” the senator said.

“With all the houses and businesses popping up around here, it’ll be good,” Creech added.